TRIP 2016

Update #14 - July 10th
Williamston, North Carolina
Trip 48 : 3,709.59 miles (5,935.34 km)
Year Total : 4,462.51 miles (7,140.02 km)

June 28, 2016 : Darien, CT to Manhattan, NYC, NY to Pleasant Plains, NJ : 16.97 miles (27.15 km)
Trip Total: 3,286.80 miles (5,258.88 km)
Year Total: 4,039.72 miles (6,463.55 km)

I had an okay night in the youth room of the Baptist Church in Darien. Before going to bed, I had a larg bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. The youth room in the basement didn't get too cool so I didn't have to use my sleeping bag.

I woke up around 5:45 AM. It was nice having milk for breakfast. I left the church little before 9 AM.

It was a short walk to the railroad station. I got my ticket through the ticket machine. There were a lot of trains passing through the station but they were either Amtrak or all express commuter trains. The first off peak train into New York City was around 10:15 AM. It was about an hour's ride to Grand Central Station in Manhattan, New York City. I was the last person off of the platform because I had to wait for an elevator. It was about 11:25 AM when I got out of the station.

Instead of directly going to Union RR Station at Madison Square Garden, I took a walk to try and find the NY offices of Jews For Jesus. None of the missionaries were in. The secretary took some pictures of me and Alice. For lunch, I stopped at a 7-11 for some pizza and a drink. I sat at park bench in Madison Square Park.

After lunch, I started in the direction on where I thought that I should be going but I was wrong. I was heading in the opposite direction. I didn't recognize anything. It took a while finding somebody who spoke English to get the right directions. Instead of walking all of the way to Union Station, I rode Alice most of the way. If the delivery people on bicycle could do it, I thought that I could. I was so happy when I got into familiar territory.

It was around 1:30 PM when I got into the Union RR station. I could have taken a 2:07 PM train to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ but I couldn't find the right elevator to get me down to the correct platform. The next train was going to be at 3:45 PM. I found the waiting area for the trains. Ten minutes before the train was supposed to leave, they posted the platform. I was able to get on the train about 5 minutes before it was supposed to leave.

I had to transfer to another train at Long Branch. We got to the Long Branch station a little after 5 PM. The problem for me was that the door that I was at wasn't going to open because the platform was too short. This big muscular guy helped me lift Alice up and over 20 rows of seats to get to the door at the front of the car. The guy helped me get Alice ou at of the car.

I had to quickly roll Alice to the other train that was on the opposite side of the platform. I got on the train about 4 minutes before it was supposed to head out. The ride to Point Pleasant Beach was about 40 minutes long. I got off the platform at the RR station around 5:55 PM.

I followed local roads to US 9. Along the way, I had to stop at a Dollar Store to get some batteries. Once on US 9 heading South, I started to try and find a place where I could camp out. Right around dusk, I found some open woods in the Pleasant Plains area. I found a place to camp out about 300 feet away from the highway.

I'm about 100 miles away from the ferry to Lewes, DE.

June 29, 2016 : Pleasant Plains, NJ to Tuckerton, NJ : 33.67 miles (53.87 km)
Trip Total: 3,320.47 miles (5,312.75 km)
Year Total: 4,073.39 miles (6,517.42 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't get that cold so I slept on top of my sleeping bag. I did sleep a little lightly. I woke up around 5:30 AM.

I was back on the road by 6:10 AM. Traffic was pretty light heading South. About five miles down the road, I stopped at a McDs for a light breakfast. I was hoping to get my laptop plugged in but they didn't have any outlets in the dining area.

Around 9 AM, I stopped at a QuickCheck gas station. I wanted to get my water bottles filled up. After getting the water bottles up and buying a drink, I went outside and sat down at a concrete picnic table. There was an electrical outlet handy so I got my laptop out to work on it, charge it up, and to also charge my other electronics. I spent a little over an hour there.

It was about 10:10 AM when I was back on US 9. A mile or two down the road, I stopped at a WaWa to see if they had any single soft pretzels but they didn't. Outside the store, there was a lady waiting for me. She told me that she had seen me pull into the parking lot and she was compelled to stop to talk to me. She told me that what I was doung was really great. She told me that she had a son who was in the process of becoming a Catholic priest. Before we parted company, she slipped me a GH. The GH was enough that I got my train money from the ride of the NJ railroad back and also the money that I had spent at the 7-11.

By noon, I had made a little over 20 miles. I stopped at a McDs for some lunch.

The afternoon ride went okay. I did have to take a few more breaks along the way. I got into Tuckerton around 3 PM. I stopped at the Methodist church. I wanted to see if my pastor friend was still around. The last time that I had seen Rev Buttermore was in April 2014. I found out that he had retired in March and moved to Delaware. There was a new pastor but he had to go to CT for a family emergency. I was still able to stay over for the night in the church.

The big push for tomorrow is to get through the Egg Harbor City area and back on US 9 somewhere North of Cape May Courthouse.

June 30, 2016 : Tuckerton, NJ to Seaville, NJ : 49.26 miles (78.72 km)
Trip Total: 3,369.73 miles (5,391.57 km)
Year Total: 4,122.65 miles (6,635.33 km)

I had an okay night at the church. It would have been a better if I hadn't had any leg cramping and pain. Someday, I would really like to get my legs checked out so I would know definitely what is wrong with them. I've been having pain in my lower legs for almost two years (way before getting hit by the car in Michigan). It can be painful some days and really not that bad other days. The major problem with the shin splints went away on my birthday.

I got maybe 8 hours of rest. I woke up around 5:30 AM. Instead of rushing off really early, I took the time to work on the photographs that I took the past five days.

It was around 7:20 AM when I headed out. I rode down US 9 a couple of miles and stopped at a McDs for some breakfast. There were electrical outlets handy so I got my laptop out to update my ministry website.

I was back on the road by around 8:30 AM. I stayed on US 9 through New Gretna and then I started to follow county roads to Egg Harbor City. I got a little over 20 miles in by noon. I got to the Northern edge of Egg Harbor city around 12:30 PM. I had to stop at a church to work on the front tire. I found the front tire going soft. I found a pinhole leak quite close to the hole that I had patched up a couple of days ago. I really checked out the tire. I found a couple of small glass slivers in the tread but I couldn't find any holes in the inside of the tire. I was back on the road in 25 mminutes.

I stopped at a McDs in Egg Harbor City for some lunch. Once I got back outside the McDs, I started to get Alice ready for the afternoon ride. An older gentlemen who was going in stopped to talk with me. We talked for about 5 minutes. I gave the guy a copy of the JFJ article. He thanked me and slipped me a GH.

In the downtown area of Egg Harbor City, I got on Cnty Rd 50. I followed Cnty Rd 50 till Seaville 27 miles away. I took my time because the temperature was in the low 80s. The only major problem was getting across a drawbridge between Mays Landing and Belcoville that was being rebuilt. There was just one lane of traffic. I had to wait through several cycles of the stop lights before I got across the bridge.

I got back on US 9 in Seaville. I stopped at a McDs for some supper. I was back on the road in about a half hour. I was getting a little concerned with the sky because there were some dark clouds.

A couple of miles down the highway, I saw some cars pulling into the parking lot of the Christ Fellowship Church. They were having a 7 pm Thursday evening service. I got to meet the pastor before the service. Before the service started, Alice got brought into the church for safety. I was offered the use of one of the rooms with sofas in the Children's Dept for the night. There was a sofa to sleep on. I also got permission to raid the refrigerators in the canteen.

The service was to mostly acknowledge the people who had gone through a year long discipleship program. This was the church's first discipleship program. At tbe begining of the service, there was about a 20 minute session of music where the leader who played a guitar sang the verses of songs over and over again. I was mildly amused that the person who made the slides for the overhead projector didn't use a spell checker. There were several mispelled words. One of the mispelled words was "welcome". It was spelled "welsome".

There were a little over two dozen people who had gone through the program that were present. The course was at least 60 hours long spread out over a year of lessons but there were more hours of fellowship time in mostly small groups. After the diplomas were given out to each attendee and pictures were taken with the pastor, the people were given the chance to talk about the highlight of this program to them. The majority of the people said that the best part of the program was the fellowship. Several of the men who were supposed to be ministers of the church mentioned the fellowship as being the number one thing. I thought that they would have mentioned an increase in their spiritual growth. Only eight of the people (mostly women) said in one way or another that the best part was their growth in Christ. Two people mentioned that they had learned new ways to share their faith with others and serve them. One of the ladies was a teacher in one of the local schools and the other lady was a social worker.

Towards the end of the program, I was given the chance to speak. This was my 32 church for the year (27 for the trip). The pastor also called for a love offering to be collected. This was the sixth love offering for the year. The last love offering was back in May.

I'm about 23 miles away from the ferry to Lewes, DE.

July 01, 2016 : Seaville, NJ to Highland Acres, DE : 25.91 miles (41.46 km)
Trip Total: 3,397.92 miles (5,436.67 km)
Year Total: 4,150.84 miles (6,641.34 km)

I had an okay night at the church but I didn't get much sleep. I was mildly surprised that I didn't have much leg pains. My legs felt a little numb. It must have come from the prayers during the service. I slept some but I was awake before 5 AM.

I left the church around 6:30 AM. I'm glad that I was inside last night because the sky was still overcast from the rain. There were some large puddles on the roadways. There was a little bit of a drizzle so I got my jacket out for a while. I did stop at a McDs coming into Cape May Courthouse to get a little breakfast. There were no electrical outlets available so I couldn't get my laptop out.

I took my time heading South. I did stop at a Walmart to get some new innertubes. By noon, I had ridden a little over 21 miles. I stopped at a McDs for a light lunch. I was going to directly go to the ferry terminal but I had to go across the street to work on the front tire again. There was a pinhole leak quite close to where the other two leaks were. I finally was able to find a little piece of wire sticking out of the tire. I had to use a pair of fingernail clippers to pull it out. The piece of wire was less than an eighth of an inch long. Hopefully, I'll not having any more problems with flat front tires.

I got to the ferry terminal around 12:50 PM. I had to go into the ferry building to pay my $10 fare. The next ferry was going to load up around 1:10 PM. The security people didn't really know what to do with my recumbent and gear so they got a bomb sniffing dog to check it out. The ferry arrived around 1 pm. I was the first one to be loaded. I secured Alice and got my stuff and went upstairs to the main passenger lounge. I got one of the few tables that had electrical outlets. I finished working on all of the photographs that I had taken the past couple of days. I was hoping to get on the web but the internet on the ferry didn't work. The ferry ride lasted about 1 hour 40 minutes and I had traveled 17 miles over water. I was the last person off the ferry before they started loading the ferry up again.

There were some dark clouds in the sky. The wind was pretty strong from the South. I was thinking about going on to Rehobeth Beach and maybe find a motel room there but the costs would probably be high for a weekend (especially the 4th of July weekend).

I saw a couple of cars in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church. I thought that I would try it out. I was able to connect with the pastor. While I was waiting for the pastor to come back to the church, three guys on loaded bicycles zipped by the church going North possibly to the ferry. One of the guys was towing a trailor instead of carrying panniers on the back of his bicycle. When the pastor got to the church, he offered me the use of the Family Life Center for the night.

I'm shooting for Ocean City, MD tomorrow. There are a couple of WS members there.

July 02, 2016 : Highland Acres, DE to Newark, MD : 53.85 miles (86.163 km)
Trip Total: 3,451.77 miles (5,522.83 km)
Year Total: 4,204.69 miles (6,727.50 km)

I had an okay night at the church. I slept in the hallway. The carpeting was thick enough so I didn't have to use my sleeping pad. I got some rest but there was no way to get away from the emergency exit sign above the door. I got about 6 hrs of sleep.

I left the church around 6:30 AM. It was about a three mile ride to DE 1. About three miles East on DE 1, I stopped at a McDs for some breakfast. I tried to update my website but the wifi signal was really low. By the time that I got back outside around 8 AM, traffic was really heavy on the way to the beaches on the Ocean.

Once I got passed Rehobeth and was heading South, there was a slight tailwind to push me along. There were a lot of cyclists but no other cycle tourist. There was one guy on a recumbent trike but he was a local. He was going North so I wasn't able to get over to talk to him.

In Bethany Beach, traffic was really packed going North because there was an emergency. I watched a person being loaded in back of an ambulance. What was disturbing for me was that it looked like there was a mangled bicycle on it's side in the grass by the highway.

I rode about 22 miles by noon. A couple of miles farther down the road, I crossed in the MD state Line. There wasn't a state sign to take a picture of.

Traffic was really heavy through Ocean City. It took me almost two and a half hours to get from the North end to the Southern end where MD 50 turned West. This didn't count the time that I stopped for lunch.

I was able to ride across the drawbridge across the Southern edge of Assowoman Bay. In West Ocean City, I stopped at a Wendys for a Frosty. About 3.5 miles out of Berlin, I got stopped by a police officer on motorcycle. I was told that it was against the law for bicyclists to be on roads where traffic was going over 50 mph but I never had a problem with this before. I followed local roads into Berlin.

For about two and a half hours, I tried to make contact with a local minister but I was only able to leave messages on their cell phones. Nobody called back. I stopped at the police station but I didn't get much help.

Around 8 PM, I decided to head out. The police officer told me that I couldn't ride South on US 113 but there were bike signs on the ride South of Berlin. I didn't have much problem going South. Traffic wasn't that bad. I stayed on the road till about 9 PM and I found a place to camp out in some woods a couple of miles South of Newark. I set up my tent with rain in mind because I heard that it might rain during the night.

July 03, 2016 : Newark, MD to Pocomoke City, MD : 21.83 miles (34.93 km)
Trip Total: 3,473.60 miles (5,557.76 km)
Year Total: 4,226.52 miles (6,762.43 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It sounded like it might have rained during the night but the tent stayed dried inside and out. There was enough leaf cover to even keep the ground tarp dry.

I got back on the highway around 6:45 AM. It was lightly drizzling. From where I was camping out, it was about a nine mile ride into Snow Hill. I stopped at a McDs for some breakfast.

Around 8:30 AM, I decided to stop at the local Methodist Church. There was a service going on at it started at 8 AM. Instead of trying to get into the sanctuary, I waited till the service ended in a back room. I heard the last half of the sermon. I got to talk with the pastor before the second service. One of the ladies who was in the congregation of the first service came back into the church and slipped me a GH. She might have saw Alice outside in back.

It was about a 40 minute wait for the second service. The pastor introduced me and I got to saw a few words. After the service, the pastor offered to get me a room at one of the motels in the Pocomoke City area. There wasn't anybody to take me to the motel so I offered to ride. At least, it had stopped raining.

I got to the motel around 2:45 PM. I'm about two miles away from the VA State Line.

July 04, 2016 : Pocomoke City, MD to Onley, VA : 27.74 miles (44.38 km)
Trip Total: 3,501.34 miles (5,602.14 km)
Year Total: 4,254.26 miles (6,806.82 km)

I didn't have a good night at the motel. When I looked into the room it looked okay but as soon as the room got a little warmer from the heating unit, I found out that I wasn't alone in the room. There were a lot of flies. I should have gone back to the office to try and get another room but I didn't trust the owner who was from India. There was no guarentee the condition of the other rooms. According to Microsoft Streets and Trips, this motel used to be a Quality Inn. There is no idea on what happened to the motel's certification in that chain and how it got into the Econolodge chain. I could have handled maybe three or four flies but there must have been more than six. I tried killing them but they were too fast. There was nothing in the room that I could have turned into an effective fly swatter.

The motel's wifi network worked sporadically. The wifi that I connected to linked up to my laptop with five bars but the data transfer baud rate was really low. I tried to update my ministry website but the ftp server didn't work right because of the low baud rate. The ftp server kept on disconnecting at the wrong time.

I went to bed kind of late but I woke up around 5:30 AM. I opted to get some breakfast out of my food pannier instead of taking the long walk to the office and back. I opted to take a shower but it was a struggle to get the water at the right temperature. The shower valve wasnn't working right. The water was either scalding hot or freezing cold. It took a lot of finegling to get the water to come out of the shower head warm.

I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The sky was pretty overcast. According to the tv news weather report. I was probably going to have to deal with some rain sometime during the day. From the motel, it was a short two mile ride to the VA state line. I stopped to take pictures of both the Maryland and Virginia state signs. I stopped at the state visitor center to get a state road map.

The ride along US 13 went okay. I got in about 18 miles in by noon. I was shooting for 20 but it started to rain hard before noon. I had to stop at this insurance place south of Gargantha to wait out the rain.

In the Centerville area, I had to pull off the road at this Spanish church. The building was an old store front and there was a covered entranceway. The front door of the building had a three step stoop. Right at the door, there were a lot of cats. There must have been at least nine or ten cats ranging from kittens to adult cats. The cats must have been feral because a lot of them scampered away and hid. There were four little kittens huddled together. They must have been at least a month old. They were sort of old enough to take care of themselves but not old enough to be afraid of humans. I was able to pet the four of them. The smallest was kind of ill and it had a banged up front paw. After taking some pictures, shooting a short video, and giving three of the kittens some loving, I rummaged through the food items in my food pannier and got out a packet of tuna. I tried feeding the littlest hurt kitten by hand but it didn't want to try and eat something. It just wanted to curl up and sleep. The other three kittens ate up the tuna like they were starving. This was probably the first time that the kittens had eaten some fish. After eating, the three kittens cleaned themselves and then they curled up together. I was probably with the kittens for about a half hour.

The ride through Accomac to Onley went okay. In Onley, I stopped at a McDs for something to drink and to attempt to finish up updating my ministry website. I called up my Baptist minister friend in Onley. John gave me approval to spend the night in the church again. His daughter came by the church to unlock the door for me.

I'm about 48 miles away from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

July 05, 2016 : Onley, VA to Nimmo (Virginia Beach), VA : 64.77 miles (103.63 km)
Trip Total: 3,566.11 miles (5,705.78 km)
Year Total: 4,319.03 miles (6,910.45 km)

I had an okay night at the church. The room that I normally slept in on the second floor wasn't available because it was being used to house new ducts for the new air conditioning and heating units being installed. I decided to sleep on the floor of one of the classrooms in the finished education wing on the second floor. I didn't use my own sleeping bag and pad. I found a blanket to use as a bedroll and there was a pillow. The only problem in the room was a security light nearby and a venetian blinds. I got maybe 6 hours of sleep.

I left the church around 6 AM. My first stop before leaving town was the McDs for some breakfast and to also work on my laptop. I was at the McDs fora little over an hour. My second stop before leaving Onley was the Walmart to get some new innertubes.

The ride South on US 13 was slow because of the high heat and a slight headwind. I got in about 22 miles before noon. I took quite a few breaks along the way.

I stopped for a late lunch at a McDs in Cape Charles. I called up the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to tell them that I needed assistance to get across the bridge. I told them that I was shooting to get to the bridge by around 5 PM. The ride to the bridge took a little longer than expected because of the wind. For the last 2.5 miles, I took advantage of the rails to trails bike path.

I got to the bridge a little after 5 pm but I was at the wrong side of the bridge. I was at the rest area/ visitor center. I had to get across the traffic at the toll booths to get to the right office. It was about 5:20 pm when I got to the office. The guy who took me across was the same guy who helped me several years ago. I had to pay the $13 fee.

I got dropped off on the south side of the bridge around 6 pm. It was about a half mile ride to US 50. There as a new bridge being built between Baylake Beach and Lynnhaven Shorees. The new bridge was being built with pre-made pre-stressed concrete parts. I took quite a few pictures.

I stopped at a McDs for a late lunch. There were three active WS profiles in the VA Beach area. I was only able to connecwith one of the members but he couldn't host me because he had a relative staying with him. He told me that there was a campsite at the First Landing (Seashore) State Park but they wanted over $20 for a tent site.

I really pushed getting into the downtown area. There were a lot of tourists in the downtown area. There was some kind of parade going on a block to the East next to the Boardwalk. There were also several live bands also playing.

I was so happy to get across the high bridge on the Southern edge of the downtown area. Once across the bridge, I followed the paved bike path along General Booth Avenue passed the City Acquarium and Nature Center. I also rode between the US Naval Amphibious Base and Oceana Naval Air Station.

I was so happy to get into the Nimmo area and Princess Anne Boulevard (VA 615). There was some woods right across from the Methodist Church where I had camped out in before. It took a while finding an area where there were no thorny blinds. I had things in my tent by around 10:30 PM.

July 06, 2016 : Nimmo (Virginia Beach), VA to Pine View, NC : 57.36 miles (91.78 km)
Trip Total: 3,623.47 miles (5,797.55 km)
Year Total: 4,376.39 miles (7,002.22 km)

It was a really hot night in the tent. I didn't use my sleeping bag. I pulled out my sleep sack.

I got back on the road around 6:30 PM. It was a really slow ride on Princess Anne (VA 615). For the most part, traffic was light but there was a lot of dump trucks. They came in pairs. There were from a sand pit that was right across the NC State Line. I was really happy to get into North Carolina. From the state line, it was about a 12 mile ride to the ferry on Knotts Island.

In Knotts Island, I stopped at a grocery store for a break. I got to the ferry landing around 1:40 PM. In regular times, the next ferry would have departed around 2 PM but the ferry was on Summer schedule. The next ferry didn't show up till around 2:50 PM. Because I was on bicycle, I was boarded right after the ferry was unloaded so I could get into one of the air conditioned passenger lounge. The ferry ride lasted about 45 minutes long, The trip across the Currituck Sound was 5 miles long. For the last 10 minutes, I talked with a guy. He told me that at one time he was an Athiest, accepted Christ, and for some other reason became an Athiest again. I witnessed to him until the ferry landed. I must have made a good impression on him because before he went back to his vehicle he gave me a hug. I was the last person off of the ferry.

I went over to the Pilmoor Methodist Church to see if there was anybody around to see if I could possibly spend the night in the church. I had done it before. There was nobody around the church or at the parsonage. I got back on the road around 4:50 PM. There were no other churches on the way to Barco.

Before turning West on US 158 to Camden and Elizabeth City, I stopped at a 7-11 for a break. The sky got really dark. A couple of miles down the highway, I had to quickly find cover because of a fast moving thunderstorm. I had to make a made dash into a complex that had a YMCA and an adult center. I ducked under the covered entranceway of the adult center. The rain lasted about a half hour. Once the storm went passed, the sky got clear and sunny again.

I really pushed the miles in to Camden. There was a long ride through an area where there were marshes (swamp land). I was on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp. I got into Candem around dusk but there were no churches along the way. I made it into Elizabeth City a little after dark. It was a little after 8:30 PM. I didn't want to get off the main highway to find the police station. It was too late to try and find a minister.

I did have a brief encounter talking with a minister who was leaving his church after some kind of practice but the minister told me that he couldn't help me. I really pushed it to get out of Elizabeth city. I stayed on US 158.

After about riding seven miles of riding with my lights, I came across the Bethel Baptist Church in the Pine View area. I saw some cars out in front of the church's fellowship hall and there were lights inside the building. The pastor wasn't home but I got permission by one of the people I found in the fellowship hall who was one of the elders to camp out behind the church. There wasn't a really good choice of spots to camp out. The ground was sort of damp from the thunderstorm. Most of the area was filled with construction material. There was some dry land near the back part of the building but there was a security light that went off and on. The next area to attempt to camp out in was right next to a bank of air conditioning units. There was one small air conditioning unit that cycled off and on.

Before I got the tent set up, the teenage boys of the pastor showed up. They told me to be concerned that there were water mocassins in the area in a creek nearby but they hadn't seen a snake in a couple of months. The teens went to talk to their father who was the pastor to see if I could spend the night in the fellowship hall because they have had other cyclists stay inside. They were expecting a group to show up maybe next week. After about fifteen minutes, the teens came back with a no approval for me to stay inside. It was almost 11 pm when I had everything inside the tent.

July 07, 2016 : Pine View, NC to Elizabeth City, NC : 18.27 miles (29.23 km)
Trip Total: 3,641.74 miles (5,826.78 km)
Year Total: 4,394.66 miles (7,031.46 km)

I didn't have a good night in the tent. It was like an oven in the tent and there was no breeze. I was concerned about the possibility of poisonous snakes close by. I was surprised that I was able to sleep with the noise of the air conditioning units just feet away from my head. I was really surprised that I wasn't allowed to stay in the fellowship hall/ gymnasium because the other cycling group stayed inside and were even fed a spaghetti dinner. I was a little upset when the two teens didn't offer to bring me any water for the might because there wasn't any faucet outside close by.

I was back on the road around 7 AM. It was already hot in the 80s. The projected high was supposed to be in the 90s. I stopped at a gas station a couple of miles away.

I was thinking that I was heading west but I found out that I wasn't. I hadn't seen any road signs along the way. I got really concerned when I saw a sign pointing the way to Chesapeake, VA. I finally figured out that I was actually heading North. Instead of backtracking, I decided to follow the signs to US 17 going South. Once I got on the US 17 Bypass, I thought that I was on a regular stretch of roadway but I was in fact on a restricted access highway. I quickly rode 5.7 miles to the first exit (NC 344). I followed NC 344 2.9 miles to US 17. Instead of turning South on US 17, I decided to turn North to get into the downtown area to see if I could connect with a minister to try and find a place to stay for the rest of the day. I really hadn't had any time off the road because I had ridden most of the day last Sunday. My last really full day off the road was back on June 27 in Darien, CT. That was 369.63 miles ago.

It was around 10:30 AM when I got into the downtown area. The first major church that I stopped at was the First Baptist Church. The pastor was out but the secretary took me inside to meet the youth pastor. The youth pastor was having a meeting of the Sr teen mission group. There were seven girls. I was able to share with the group. This is my 34th church for the year (29th for the trip). The youth pastor went downstairs to talk with the secretary to see if the mission board could be contacted to see if a motel room could be paid for, Arrangements were made at a motel on the West edge of Elizabeth City but it was at least 5 miles from the church. On the way to the motel, I stopped to get a few items from a Dollar General and some lunch at a Hardees.

The heat index is supposed to be close to 100 tomorrow and the regular high in the low 90s. The wind is supposed to be coming from the West. Because of this, I'm going to get on the road early and just ride to Edenton 26 miles away.

July 08, 2016 : Elizabeth City, NC to Edenton, NC : 27.99 miles (44.78 km)
Trip Total: 3,669.73 miles (5,871.57 km)
Year Total: 4,422.65 miles (7,076.24 km)

I had a somewhat okay afternoon and night at the motel. Being that the owners were from India, the motel was a little run down. There were piles of broken furniture and televisions in back. There was a lot of trash in the parking lot. When I checked in to the room, there weren't any towels or washcloths in the bathroom. I didn't get any clean towels or washcloths till almost 6:30 PM.

I went to bed around 11:00 PM. I woke up a little before 6 AM. There wasn't any breakfast provided. During the night, there was a slaughter or police officers in Dallas. 12 officers were shot and 5 officers were killed. They were thinking that there were multiple shooters but there was only one shooter. The slaughter was at the tail-end of a demonstration in Dallas to protest the killings of two black men by police officers in Baton Rouge, LA and the Minneapolis area.

I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The temperature was at least ten degrees less than yesterday. The wind was coming from the West instead of from the South. The ride South went okay. According to Microsoft Streets and Trips, this area was supposed to be swampy and part of the Great Dismal Swamp but it was fertile farmland. There were large fields of corn, peanuts, and soy beans. There was also truck farms of pumkins and beans.

I was averaging about nine miles per hour but there were times when I was traveling almost eleven miles per hour. I got the first twenty miles in by 11:40 AM. I got into Edenton around 12:20 PM. My first stop was at a McDs for some lunch and then to a nearby grocery store to get a loaf of bread.

There was no way that I was going to head out again because of the high heat. The heat index was going to be around 102 Fahrenheit. I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. I wasn't sure I was going to find somebody at the church but the secretary was in. The pastor was out on vacation. The secretary told me that I should go to the police station because the churches in the area supported a fund, At the police station, I talked with a lady sergeant. She met me at a local motel and got me a room through a voucher.

Because of the threat of high heat tomorrow, I'm only going to ride to Windsor about 23 miles away.

July 09, 2016 : Edenton, NC to Williamston, NC : 36.73 miles (58.77 km)
Trip Total: 3,706.46 miles (5,930.34 km)
Year Total: 4,459.38 miles (7,135.01 km)

I had a scare in the evening. Around 8:30 PM, I had just finishing undressing and was getting ready to go into the bathroom to take a shower when somebody with a key opened up the door to the room. I'm so that that there was a security chain. There wasn't a dead bolt. I gave out a loud yell and the door closed. There was a persistant knocking of the door. I looked out of the window and saw a strange Indian guy. I quickly got redressed and went outside to find out what was going on. It turns out that this was the brother of the guy who rented me the room around 2 PM. My name was in the computer but not the right room. There wasn't any apology for the disturbance.

When I got into the room, I braced the door with the door stop that I've been carrying. I slept really lightly. I kept on waking up throughout the night thinking that it was morning because there was light coming into the room. The light was just the lights in the parking lot.

I woke up and got dressed before 6 AM. I rode over to the local McDs to get some breakfast and to get on the internet to update my ministry website. I was at the McDs till around 7:15 AM.

The ride South on US 17 went okay. The temperature was cooler than yesterday. For the most part, I had a shoulder to ride along but in some places I had to deal with rumble strips.

By noon, I got 22 miles in by noon. I was going to stop in Windsor but I decided to go on to Williamston. After a short break at a gas station, I cranked out the 12 extra miles to Williamston.

I got into downtown Williamston around 1:30 PM. I was able to connect with the Methodist minister. He gave me directions to a motel back on US 17. I thought that he was going to fully pay for a room but he only paid for half of the room. Before leaving, he did slip me a little something more so I could go across the street to a BK.

July 10, 2016 : Williamston, NC to Williamston, NC : 03.13 miles (5.01 km)
Trip Total: 3,709.59 miles (5,935.34 km)
Year Total: 4,462.51 miles (7,140.02 km)

It was another bad night at a motel run by people from India. The room was pretty bad. The walls were in the process of being painted but there wasn't any progress. The room was pretty bare. There were no chairs to sit on. The lights had no lampshades. There was a large projection tv but no remote.

I got maybe five hours of sleep. I left the motel a little before 8 AM. My first stop was to a grocery store to get a loaf of bread and some milk. I rode into the downtown area.

I was going to stop at the Presbyterian Church but there wasn't anybody around and the service was going to be at 11 AM. Instead, I stopped at Memorial Baptist Church. I got there 10 minutes before the first service was to start. I got to talk with the assistant pastor. There was a search to find a new sr pastor. During the beginning of the service, the assistant pastor introduced me. After the service, I was told that there was an offer to get me a room at another local motel but I had to wait till after the second service. The assistant pastor took me upstairs to a Sunday school class. I got to speak for a few minutes.

It was a little after noon before I was directed to ride to a Days Inn. The assistant pastor met me there. He also arranged for me to have a meal at a restaurant next door.

Because of the high heat tomorrow, I'm only going to ride to Washington 22 miles away.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between July 17th and July 24th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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